Michigan-Kentucky to play next 3 years, including in London next year

Kentucky and Michigan will play three games against each other over the next three years, starting in London in December 2020, the schools announced Thursday.

In addition, Kentucky will travel to Michigan on Dec. 4, 2021, and Michigan will travel to Kentucky on Dec. 3, 2022.

"This series with Michigan checks off a lot of boxes when we're looking at teams to schedule," Kentucky coach John Calipari said in a statement. "The first thing is, to add an opponent like Michigan and to do so at a point in the schedule where we're beginning to find out who we are as a team will be important in our development.

"And then to be able to do something different -- to be first, which our fans know we love to do -- and play this first game is London will be an unforgettable experience for our players and for our fans. I imagine the home-and-home games the following seasons will be as good as any nonconference games in the country."

The neutral-site game in London will be played at O2 Arena and hosted by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame to serve as a fundraiser for the Hall. It will be the first NCAA Division I college basketball game to be played in this particular venue. The date of the game will be announced in January.

The game in London marks Kentucky's fourth regular-season trip outside the U.S. and the fifth for Michigan, but it's the first game in Europe for both schools. Kentucky does have some history in London, though. Its 1948 national championship team represented the United States in the 1948 Olympics and won the gold medal. The on-campus visits are the first in the series since 1968 (Kentucky Invitational Tournament) and 1970 (in Ann Arbor).

"When the idea of playing Kentucky came up, we knew it would be an exciting opportunity, not only for ourselves, but for our fans as well," Michigan coach Juwan Howard said in a statement. "What a unique three-game series. First, we get to showcase collegiate basketball overseas in London before playing that traditional home-and-home series in front of two of the nation's best basketball environments. We cannot wait."